The Vermont Connection


For many rst-generation students, the transition into higher education and beyond is an arduous and challenging process that takes a toll on both their social and emotional wellness. Past literature that has analyzed the transition of rst-generation college students employ a de cit-based framework, focusing on areas in which students lack compared to areas where they excel, to investigate the effects of transition on wellness and educational outcomes (Engle, Bermeo, & O’Brien, 2006; Orbe, 2008; Reid & Moore, 2008; Stebleton, Soria, & Huesman, 2014). Although much research has been conducted to analyze the impact that transitioning to college (from high school) has on rst-generation college students, few of these scholarly pieces address the transition for rst-generation graduate students of color and its relation to health and wellness. In an effort to shed light on the experience of transitioning to graduate school for rst-generation students of color, this paper utilizes community cultural wealth frameworks (Rendón, Nora, & Kanagala, 2014; Yosso, 2005) to conceptualize and explore how the author draws from the multiple strengths of being a rst-generation Paci c Islander graduate student to ensure emotional and social wellness throughout their transition and socialization into a graduate program.